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Lindsey Vonn withdraws from World Cup race due to back injury

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — After injuring her back in a World Cup race, Lindsey Vonn withdrew from another scheduled super-G on Sunday before the race was canceled due to fog.

“Unfortunately I will not be able to race today,” Vonn wrote on her Twitter account 45 minutes before the original scheduled start.

“I am extremely disappointed but my biggest goal this season is the Olympics,” said the American star, who won the downhill title at the 2010 Vancouver Games but missed the 2014 Sochi Games due to injury.

Vonn jarred her back Saturday early in a World Cup super-G on the same St. Moritz course, and completed the race in obvious pain in 24th place.

Late Saturday on Twitter, she described the injury as “an acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction,” though she had not had an MRI.

Vonn added Sunday: “I need to take care of myself now so I can be ready for next week, and more importantly, for February.”

The Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea are staged Feb. 9-25.

Fog and strong winds high on the mountain had already forced race organizers Sunday to shorten the scheduled race and use a lower start gate.

The 10:30 a.m. local time (0930 GMT) start was pushed back to 11:30 a.m. (1030 GMT) before organizers gave in to the thick fog shrouding the mountain.

The super-G was intended to be a stand-alone race and also double up as the first leg of a combined event with an afternoon slalom run. The combined was also canceled.

Lindsey Vonn injured in World Cup super-G (video)

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Lindsey Vonn finished a World Cup super-G in extreme pain Saturday and was treated by race doctors for a back injury.

The American star crossed the finish line in obvious distress, in 24th place and 1.56 seconds behind the winner, and slumped to the snow. She compressed her back on the fifth gate, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Vonn stayed in the finish house to be treated, and one hour later limped slowly into a waiting car to be driven from the St. Moritz course.

“Our U.S. Ski Team doctor checked me out and no imaging is needed,” was posted on Vonn’s social media. “Just need the joint and the muscles to calm down so I can move again.”

In a race interrupted several times by gusting crosswinds, Vonn wore the No. 4 bib and was left standing at the start gate during the first delay of about three minutes. She stayed warm with a thick jacket draped on her shoulders.

The surprise winner was Jasmine Flury of Switzerland, who had a career-best World Cup finish of fifth before Saturday.

MORE: Full results | Alpine season TV schedule

Starting No. 14, Flury raced down in bright sunshine and calm conditions to be one tenth of a second faster than teammate Michelle Gisin, who wore start bib No. 12.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was third, .16 behind Flury. Weirather won the super-G last Sunday at Lake Louise, Canada, where Flury was seventh.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who won a downhill Saturday, was 20th. Julia Mancuso, racing this weekend for the first time since March 2015, skied out about 15 seconds into her run.

Before getting into her car, Vonn stopped to congratulate Flury standing in the leader’s box.

The hood of Vonn’s U.S. team jacket was up to shield her face from TV cameras tracking her departure.

On the hill where she was injured at the world championships in February, Swiss star Lara Gut crashed into course-side netting after seeming to lose balance in the cross wind.

She appeared unhurt and later said on social media she planned to race Sunday’s super-G.

A super combined — to make up for Friday’s canceled race — has also been scheduled for Sunday, adding a slalom run after the super-G and combining the times, according to NBC Sports’ Steve Porino.

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St. Moritz Super-G
1. Jasmine Flury (SUI) — 1:02.59
2. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +.10
3. Tina Weirather (LIE) — +.16
20. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — +1.37
24. Lindsey Vonn (USA) — +1.56
29. Breezy Johnson (USA) — +1.94
30. Laurenne Ross (USA) — +1.98
35. Patricia Mangan (USA) — +2.23
45. Stacey Cook (USA) — +2.94
49. Alice Merryweather (USA) — +3.65
DNF. Julia Mancuso (USA)
DNF. Alice McKennis (USA)
DNF. Jacqueline Wiles (USA)

Mikaela Shiffrin leads postponed World Cup race

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — A World Cup super combined was canceled because of thick fog Friday, soon after Mikaela Shiffrin was fastest in the opening slalom run.

The poor conditions wiped away Shiffrin’s chances of adding to her World Cup overall standings lead. Organizers first pushed back the super-G start time and then decided to scrap it.

Later, Shiffrin lost a second chance to win the event. Race organizers declined an option to let Saturday’s scheduled super-G double up as the second run of the combined.

Lindsey Vonn wasn’t surprised that racing was stopped.

“I don’t foresee the super-G being able to happen, it’s so foggy,” Vonn said after placing 25th in slalom, 3.33 seconds behind her countrywoman. “You can’t even free ski down the hill.”

Organizers tried to defy the gloomy forecast by flipping the race order. Fog and strong winds higher up the hill made the super-G course too dangerous in the morning.

Shiffrin did not have the cleanest slalom run, but she finished .39 of a second ahead of Swiss rival Wendy Holdener. In February, Holdener won the combined and took silver behind Shiffrin the slalom at the world championships in St. Moritz.

On Friday, Shiffrin trailed after almost losing her balance though the first steep section after a start on flat terrain, then gained time lower down.

In third place, world silver medalist Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was 1.21 seconds back.

Still, Shiffrin can still look with confidence to super-G races scheduled Saturday and Sunday having placed fifth in the speed discipline last Sunday in Lake Louise, Alberta.

For the first time since March 2015, four-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso started a World Cup race. She finished almost eight seconds behind Shiffrin.

“It was fun to be back in the start and I made it to the finish,” said Mancuso, who returned from hip surgery. “Today was not the result of my injury, it was the result of lack of training.”

Mancuso is targeting the Olympic super-G, but it will not be easy to make the U.S. roster of four racers in the event.

The weather denied her a chance to race super-G on Friday.

“I felt like when I got up this morning and they changed the order, that I was being punked,” joked Mancuso, who hopes to start in the two World Cup super-G races this weekend.

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